Okee The Story of an Otter in the House Author:Dorothy Gross Wisbeski [Note: There is no back cover description and no dust jacket, so here is the introduction.] — Life with an otter is madness of a special kind. It takes an incredible amount of energy and forebearance - and time. An otter is not a sometime thing to be enjoyed at one's convenience. Of its very nature it demands nearly all of one's waking attenti... more »on because, while a more amiable creature has probably never existed, neither has a more irresponsible one. Life with an otter, like scaling the Himalayas, is a vastly rewarding experience, but it is not a comfortable one at best, and is not recommended for the average person. The Wisbeskis masquerade as average people, but the extent of their fortitude and selflessness, as you will find, shows them to be rare indeed.
In this book, you will meet a motley assortment of fauna - a woodchuck, a dog, three parakeets, a turtle, another otter names Beever, and some humans, including (of all people) me. But we merely carry our spears and try to look busy. The protagonist of the piece is Okee.
Okee and Beever are Columbian river otters (Lutra annectens columbiana, for the record), very close relatives of the species that inhabits most of North America in now diminishing numbers. Because of a shyness induced by intense hunting humans, otters are not easily observed in the wild, and most of what we know of their behavior has been learned from captive individuals of the North American and Eurasian species. Okee's behavior will therefore be of interest because it is that of a species previously unstudied. Okee's actions are factually reported - I have witness some of the most extraordinary ones myself.
Not all of Okee's behavior is typical of the species - animals are individuals - but you will come away from this book with a good idea of an otter's mental capabilities, of the joys of life shared with an otter, and not least of all, the disquietude of such a life. Chaos around the clock can be terribly exhausting. But it can be lots of fun.